Okay, it may not be as cool as we want it to be right now, but it's cooler then it was! The semi-cooler temps, have made me hungry for delicious and comforting soups. Since I have little cooking knowledge, I always gravitate toward easy recipes. I attempted this soothing soup recipe this weekend, and I even surprised myself how easy it was.Find this recipe at Food Network.com


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups half-and-half

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups chopped broccoli florets

1/3 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/3 cups)

Croutons, for topping (optional) - I say they are a must!


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, half-and-half, both potatoes, bay leaf, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl; add 3 tablespoons water and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; drain.

When the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaf from the soup and transfer the soup to a blender. NOTE: I'd forgotten I had a blender! Puree until smooth, leaving the filler cap slightly open to let steam escape (or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender). NOTE: I have no idea how to use an immersion blender! Anyway, return the soup to the pot and thin with water, if necessary. Return to a simmer over medium-low heat; stir in the broccoli and season with salt and pepper.

I guarantee this soup will "warm the cockles of your heart!" Okay, I don't really know what "cockles" are, but it sounds great! Enjoy!